The MLB season is winding down very quickly. With only about a third of the season left, it’s time to start thinking about possible post-season award winners. I want to start looking specifically at National League Rookie of the Year candidates.
1 Corey Seager
2 Aledmys Diaz
3 Trevor Story
4 Nomar Mazara
5 Trayce Thompson pic.twitter.com/8SmLJalaoT
— Thug Buffone (@pathological_h8) July 15, 2016
The three undisputed front runners are all short stops: Diaz (Cardinals), Seager (Dodgers), and Story (Rockies).
One of the first things I like to look at when deciding who I think should win the ROY award is defense, specifically the number of errors. Diaz is leading the three with a total of 16 (tied for second most in the National League). Seager follows behind with 11, which is only one more than Story. All of the three have made their fair share of spectacular plays throughout the year. All three have also showed huge improvements since the first month of the season. What all of this means, simply put, is that unless two out of the three fall apart defensively, defense alone will not be the deciding factor for Rookie of the Year.
Now to take a look at what really matters: Offensive production. Offense will be the deciding factor in who wins the ROY for the National League. Offense is what wins games. Hits at the right times win games. With this being said, if the numbers stay as close as they currently are, the ROY award winner will ultimately be the person who is deemed to have helped the club win the most games. But lets look at some stats anyway.
I’ll start with looking at Trevor Story’s stats thus far. Story has a great slash line of .271/.342/.573 (AVG/OBP/SLG). His standout stat, however, is home runs. Currently Story has hit 27 HRs, which leads all other rookies by 10 or more. Early season talks included the possibility of Story hitting 50+ homers this season. If this were to happen, he would be a shoo in for ROY. However, with only a third of the season left, it would take a miracle for him to reach the 50 mark.
Seager also boasts a pretty good slash line of .303/.358/.517. His average is quite a bit better than Story’s, which is a pretty good argument for ROY candidates. However, I believe Seager’s most credible argument for ROY is consistency. He has been the most consistent of the three frontrunners. Diaz started slow and was not in the starting lineup everyday for multiple reasons. Story went on a home run hitting streak and was a terror for pitchers to face starting the season. Since then Story has slowly cooled off and been handled pretty well by opposing pitchers.
And last but not least, Diaz has another impressive slash line: .313/.378/.523. Diaz’s average leads all NL rookies who have played in 80+ games. Once again, batting average is a very good argument for ROY. The other half of the argument is that Diaz just had to jump into the starting short stop position on short notice. He didn’t prepare all spring thinking he was gonna start almost every game. But after multiple injuries, the Cardinals turned to him and he responded well. Of the three listed, Diaz has shown the most improvement throughout the year. He seems to get better with every game he plays.
There is plenty of season left for crazy things to happen, and baseball has shown us over and over again to not “count our chickens before the eggs hatch.” The last third of the season is shaping up to be pretty exciting for all teams throughout the MLB but especially for Diaz, Seager, and Story.